Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Unit Study Resources for Elementary Grades

Randa Handler has written several books for children that can launch excellent class discussions.  The books also make great material for family reading time.

The Thanksgiving Dinner Platter is set in 1941, the year Franklin Delano Roosevelt made Thanksgiving Day a national holiday in the United States.  Takari is part of a Japanese-American family and is excited to celebrate with her family--until she breaks an heirloom platter that belonged to her grandmother.  Takari’s mother is upset, so Takari seeks consolation from her friend, Little Sparrow, a Native American.

As Little Sparrow’s family prepares cornbread in the tradition of the Wampanoag, Takari learns about the pilgrims and begins to understand how much she has to be thankful for.  She tags along when Little Sparrow and his father go to spend time at a veterans’ hospital and learns that Thanksgiving Day is about more than food and heirloom platters.  She returns home wiser and more thankful than ever.

Use this book in a unit study on Thanksgiving, veterans, or multicultural customs.
Handler has also written Cubbie Blue and His Dog Dot and What’s Up with Mike? which feature multiracial boys, a fantasy world, and tiny creatures.  The lesson is that being different is not a bad thing.  If I Were King features a zebra that learns important lessons about friendship, boundaries, and safety while playing with a variety of animals.  The Boy Who Spoke to God is a lesson on tolerance among different religions.
Find Randa Handler’s books on her Amazon Author Page and check them out.